Tuesday, April 5, 2011

359. L'Avventura/The Adventure (1960)

Running Time: 145 minutes
Directed By: Michelangelo Antonioni
Written By: Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra
Main Cast: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Dominique Blanchar, Renzo Ricci

Note: For those who are having similar Blogger spacing problems, like I was, it may help you to know that downloading and using Firefox to make your blog posts will cure the problem. Thank God that's fixed...Now on to the business at hand.

ANTONIONI WEEK: CHAPTER ONE

Today we begin our small quest inside of a quest to watch all of the Michelangelo Antonioni films from the "1001..." book. Our first film was possibly his most popular and the one that got the full page, black and white photo in the "1001..." book. However, it's also one that I really, really didn't like.

The film starts out and seemingly introduces us to the female who will play our main character, Anna (Massari). She is headed out on a cruise with a group of her wealthy friends, including her boyfriend Sandro (Ferzetti), of whom her father doesn't approve. The group finally get on their merry way and seem to be having a good time, frolicking around on the vessel in their bathing suits and having a few laughs. When Anna gets a sudden impulse to jump overboard and go for a swim, the vessel is stopped and when all passengers re-aboard, the group decides to get out at a small island. Upon their arrival at the island, they all get out and Anna & Sandro have a small quarrel. It seems that their long distance relationship isn't quite working out as Anna had hoped. Before too long Anna goes missing and despite her friends screaming her name, she doesn't answer. Ultimately, after scouring the island and finding nothing, the group (with the exception of Claudia and Sandro) go to the next island to get help. Claudia (Vitti) and Sandro stay behind, hoping that Anna will show up, but winding up getting themselves into their own little mess...love.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!

I had a lot of problems with "L'Avventura", so let's not waste time. I think my biggest downfall, when it came to "L'Avventura" is that it was an Italian film, and when I think of Italian cinema, I think of beautiful pictures, sexy women and artistic film making. Antonioni had the "sexy women" part down pat, but when it came to the other elements, I just wasn't seeing a lot of beauty or artistry. Now I'm sure most of you will call "FOOL" and say that this film was loaded with artistic value, but it must've been lost on yours truly, because there was little to nothing artistic about "L'Avventura". I also found it quite amusing that at the beginning of the film a title card is flashed saying something to the effect of "L'Avventura" being recognized at the Cannes Film Festival for the beauty that it portrays. I'm sorry, but I found nothing beautiful about the images in "L'Avventura". I mean, maybe I was just really spoiled by Federico Fellini, but this film just looked very ordinary to me and please remember that is only an opinion...you don't have to share it.

In fact, speaking of ordinary film making, I'd say that a lot of the film fell very short of hitting that exceptional level, as I found the actors to linger in the average zone, the script to be poor, the artistic value to be non-existent and the movie as a whole very boring and way too long.

There was just nothing appealing going on as far as the story goes. Am I really supposed to believe that a woman disappears and her best friend and lover spend a few hours looking for her and then decide that they make a pretty good match, so they'll just be a couple now and forget the disappearing girl? That's another thing - I mentioned "a few hours", but was it really a few hours? I had a real problem figuring out how much time had passed in the whole film. At times I thought we had jumped forward weeks, or even months, but then the dialogue seemed to suggest that we were still days away from Anna's disappearance.

And speaking of "the disappearing girl", what happened to her? Did Antonioni forget to resolve that "little" issue, that just happened to be a major plot point in his film? Am I supposed to like or somehow relate to the characters of Sandro and Claudia, even though they prove what heinous people they are by totally forgetting their loved one and striking up a fling in her absence? I know, I'm asking a lot of questions, but that's fitting for a film that left me asking one MAJOR question and that's...How did this movie receive all the acclaim it has? I just don't get it. Maybe the whole film was just lost on me and I just didn't get it. Maybe there was a grand, underlying theme or message that just wasn't coming across to me. Maybe there was artistry in there and to my eyes it wasn't art at all. I don't know - what I do know is that I did not like "L'Avventura" and to those of you that do, I'm glad you've found something in a film, that just so happens to be lost on me...and I sincerely mean that.

RATING: 3/10 Well the average marker is '5' and this film wasn't average in my book, so a '3' is more than fitting, if you ask me. Next up "La Notte" and then "L'Eclisse", which together with "L'Avventura" are supposed to make up a trilogy...Hopefully the trilogy gets better.

MOVIES WATCHED:
245
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 756

April 5, 2011 1:09am

2 comments:

  1. I tend to agree.. I was left a little baffled by what happened, or what was supposed to have happened, or what we were supposed to make of what had (or hadn't) happened...
    I think they were supposed to be leading empty lives, lacking in real feelings or genuine care (love) for other people.. so when someone vanishes, they don't really care?
    There is supposed to be a quick glimps oF a boat that could be the way Anna got off the island. But why she did so.. or where it came from.. Or perhaps its an error, and the boat wasn't supposed to be there in the first place and no-ne spotted it..
    I read trhis was booed at it's opening. I wouldn't go that far, as it has me wondering, but I'd be hard pushed to give it much more than 3...

    Ray

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thankfully there's SOMEONE who agrees with me. I was sure that would be one of the one's I'd get eaten alive for.

    ReplyDelete

SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #65: Les nuits de la pleine lune/Full Moon in Paris (1984)

Running Time: 100 minutes Directed By: Eric Rohmer Written By: Eric Rohmer Main Cast: Pascale Ogier, Tcheky Karyo, Fabrice Luchini,...